NC woman admits to stabbing 5-year-old daughter in chest

Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 1:05 PM EST
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HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (FOX Carolina) - A western North Carolina woman pleaded guilty on Monday to the stabbing death of her 5-year-old daughter.

In April 2021, a distraught man called 911 from a home on Fiesta Lane, saying he found his daughter, Caroline Rose, in her bedroom with a stab wound to the chest. The victim’s father tried to give her CPR but she died from her injuries.

Unbeknownst to her family, an hour before the stabbing 51-year-old Penny Hartle, the girl’s mother, broke into a neighbor’s home and climbed into their bed.

“She laid in my bed while I was in it and passed out,” the caller told 911 dispatchers. “I have no clue who she is.”

The District Attorney said Hartle “displayed signs of significant mental illness” and was shaking and mumbling to herself when she was found.

After Hartle was arrested, a judge ordered her to be evaluated and treated for her condition. She was only recently found competent to stand trial.

When Hartle went to court for the proceedings, family members testified that she adored Caroline and wouldn’t have harmed her if she was in her right state of mind. Family members also testified about the profound impact Caroline’s death had on them.

An arrangement was reached so Hartle pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to between 13 and 17 years in prison.